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Vienna High School provides mobile hotspots to bridge the digital divide

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Students and staff at Vienna High School who don't have good access to the internet can now get their work done on time, thanks to a grant the District received from the Federal Universal Service Act.

With the funding, the school can now provide free mobile hotspots. Joshua Stafford, School Superintendent says this program will fight the digital divide for students in his rural school district.

"Maybe they have internet, but it's capped. Maybe they have no internet at all, or maybe the internet they do have, isn't reliable. That's what we're going to be able to provide through the E-rate program and the E-rate funding dollars we receive from the Federal Government."

Stafford says the program will run through May of 2022 and residents interested in the program can call the Vienna High School Office at 618-658-4461.

Born in Newport, Rhode Island to a military family, Kevin Boucher traveled the country and the world at a young age before his family settled in Murphysboro, Illinois in 1976. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Radio-Television at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale and worked in commercial radio before becoming the Traffic Manager at WSIU Public Television. Boucher has since earned a Master's degree in Professional Media & Media Management Studies from SIU's College of Mass Communication & Media Arts. He is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys gardening and exploring the flora and fauna of the Shawnee National Forest and other beautiful natural areas across southern Illinois. Kevin is embarking on a new path with WSIU as the Community Engagement Producer for WSIU Radio. Look for Kevin's work on air and on line.